Olabanji Surakat


Olabanji Surakat is a Lecturer and Research scientist at Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria. He attended AfriBOP 2019 in Kenya and used the valuable skills he learnt at the grant writing session to write his own grant for which he successfully funded.


Research interests: Parasitology and Disease surveillance

What is your training background ? BSc Zoology, Masters and Ph.D. studies in Parasitology

What prompted you to apply for AfriBOP 2019?  I saw the advert online and I applied due to my interest in the immunology of parasites, I have been researching on Neglected Tropical Diseases and I needed new ideas to understand the biology of how the parasites evade the host immune response.

What was the most interesting aspect of the course? The grant writing session and the daily presentations from various experts, it was a great experience to network, learn and build on new knowledge.

During the course there was a grant writing workshop? Yes, right from the first day, we were grouped into small cohorts of 5-6 participants where we designed a study and got competed for a mock grant.

Was this beneficial? Absolutely, the guides and step-wise approach greatly advanced my thinking and I used the knowledge to apply for the African Research Network on NTDs small grant programme of $25,000 which I won.

What advise did you get that you applied in your own grant application? Basically, I learned the peculiarities of each grant call and also how to draft sound research questions, I also developed a skill in writing a convincing impact of the study.

Tips for young people who want to enter the field of immunology: Have a sound Biology and chemistry background and also prepare to probe every research material available online and in the library. Immunology gives answers to the human survival amidst various exposure to pathogens, hence the need to be ahead and abreast with updated information.

If you weren’t  an immunologist what would you be ? I am still honing my skills in immunology, it is my major career goal for the year, I am going to enroll for short courses and plan to attend workshops to better understand disease dynamics.

Find him on LinkedIn and  Twitter

Interview by Cheleka Mpande

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation